Four Iraqi troops, 27 Daesh militants die in Anbar and Diyala clashes
U.S.-led airstrikes and Iraqi troops hit Daesh militants with heavy fire in Iraq's western Anbar and Diyala provinces in battles Monday and over the weekend. (AFP/File)
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At least 27 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants and four Iraqi troops were killed in Iraq’s Anbar and Diyala provinces, security sources said.
In the first incident, 20 ISIL militants were killed and five vehicles were destroyed in U.S.-led international coalition airstrikes around 140 miles (220 kilometers) from Ramadi city, Iraqi army’s General Diyaa Kazim Dabous said.
"The militants were gathering west of al-Haditha near Ramadi and preparing for an attack when they were hit," Dabous added.
An Iraqi army battalion also arrived at Ramadi from Baghdad to reinforce Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters, security advisor of Anbar province, Aziz Halaf al-Tarmouz, said.
Seven other ISIL militants were killed in clashes with Iraqi security forces backed by a Shia militia force, al-Hashd al-Shaabi, in northwestern Ba’qubah between Diyala and Saladin provinces, a security source said.
"The clashes occurred after ISIL attacked an Iraqi military base. Four Iraqi forces personnel were also killed and 11 others were also wounded," the source added.
The number of deaths could not be independently verified.
Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June 2014, when ISIL stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared what it called a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.